Pomeroy Washington Downtown National Historic District
April 26, 1919
The following purporting to come from one of the overseas boys is of particular interest at this time:
I have just returned from Chateau Thierry and the Argonne where the Yanks gave the Germans hell. When we lost contact we followed the scent of sauerkraut and limburger and if we were speedy enough we met up with Fritz always headed for Berlin on high gear.
Machine gun nests were as thick as yellow jackets at Teal camp in August. I got mine here, and here. (Pointing.)
Thousands of the boys are sleeping over there and the cooties, the trench rats and the "Jack Johnsons" will never disturb their slumber.
The British Tommies were exhausted, and the French Poilus were disheartened while the Hindenburg avalanche was crushing its way toward the channel ports and Paris.
Our boys swung into line for Chateau Thierry, shouting like Commanche warriors to "turn and go the other way." We drove the Germans back, held our ground, then started forward and never stopped. We put life into the British and pep into the French. They discovered something: The Germans could be licked.
From that time on, we rolled back the Huns toward the Rhine till they whined like whipped dogs and signed the most humiliating surrender ever made by the white race.
Our army of occupation is still there. It's going to take cash to bring them back. Buy bonds and finish the job!
Last spring the slogan was: "Come across or the Kaiser will". You came across and the Kaiser didn't. The slogan now is: "Come across or the boys can't."
It was easy to buy bonds when you were threatened by German invasion and your life and property hung in the balance.
It was still easier when we had 'em on the run and shouts of victory were ringing in your ears. You knew the country was safe and the bonds were as good as gold.
Now is the real test of patriotism. Your fear is gone, and the shouts of victory are dying down.
The sure enough patriot digs up after "The tumult and the shouting dies and, The captain arid the kings depart."
As I limped along the street I heard a man say: "I've done my part, I've bought fifteen hundred dollars of liberty bonds, and the other feller's got to do the rest." And I heard another fellow say in a low voice: "Yes, and he traded 'em off for an automobile."
I didn't say anything but I pictured in my mind the thousands of boys in France or Germany wading in mud knee deep, sleeping in tents or on the bare ground, and longing to get back to good old U. S. A., with a job for a living, while this guy was riding around in his automobile, thinkin' he had done enough.
I heard another man say: "What's the use, the war's over, I'm tired of buying bonds." I never answered him but I pictured those homesick boys in the army of occupation, waiting for every mail, grasping like drowning men at straws for every scrap of news from home, and dad, and mother, and the girl, and wondering when Uncle Sam would send them home, and I shuddered at the heartlessness of a man who would dig up to put them across, and turn tight wad before they got back.
I was leaning against the wall in front of the courthouse not long ago and I heard another man say: "Those boys in France never suffered the hardships I did raising twenty-cent wheat."
I kept still again but I thought. I saw my comrades with blanched faces dying in the trenches and hospitals in a foreign land.
I saw them bleeding on shell-torn fields with arms or legs shot away, suffering the agonies of pain and thirst, while the trench rats gnawed their flesh.
I heard them in the delirium of death muttering of mother, or wife, or sweetheart they would never see again, and I pitied the ignorance of the man who made that remark.
No, we didn't all get across, or get wounded or die in No Man's Land, but we all wanted to go across, aud we all were willing to be wounded or die if need be for the good old United States.
You've backed us up fine so far. Little old Garfield county has been a star-batter, and she's not going to stumble till all her boys get home.
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